The oldest bottling (at present) in the Whisky Baron’s Founder’s Collection is an unpeated Bunnahabhain that has spent 16 years in an ex-bourbon hogshead (#3186). 258 bottles have been produced at an ABV of 51% - they’ll set you back £150 on the nose from the Baron’s webshop.
Nose: Light and somewhat unassuming. Peaches and cream, apricot yoghurt and vanilla to begin. Then opening further with royal icing, fresh oats and a glass of milk. Running throughout, a gentle vein of coastal minerality – hewn rock and shingle beach. The addition of water offers a more pronounced experience – expressive honey sweetness alongside clean cotton and sunflowers.
Taste: The arrival offers stone fruits (peaches), pancake batter and honey. The development is firmly coastal – rockfaces, limestone, gravels (all on alluvialness) with seashells and a tang of lemon tartness. The back-palate heads in the direction of creaminess – vanilla custard and crème caramel. All-in-all a good journey worth making. Reduction is though-provoking – a loss of the minerality (which is a shame!) but in return, some incredibly juicy tinned fruits – apples, pears and peaches.
Finish: Medium in length balancing ripe peaches with tingly white pepper.
I find the palate of this teenage Bunnahabhain to be quite excellent – a near perfect combination of fruitiness and coastalness - precise, honed and with the distillery character talking loudly and proudly. It’s therefore something of a disappointment that the nose is relatively shy and unwilling to deliver quite so much expressiveness. Nevertheless, a lot to like here. Just not the price – which in my opinion is fanciful.
But don't take our word for it..
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